North Carolina Assistant Principal Allegedly Had Sex With 17-Year-Old Student She Was Tutoring: Cops

Lisa Rothwell allegedly had sex with a teen student repeatedly.
Gaston County Jail

An assistant principal at a high school in North Carolina was arrested after she allegedly had sex with a 17-year-old student repeatedly over a four-month period, according to police.

Lisa Rothwell, 34, who had worked at Stuart W. Cramer High School since 2014, was taken into custody Friday after police began investigating after hearing "chatter" that she was sleeping with one of the students, Gaston County Police Capt. Billy Downey told the Gaston Gazette.

“There was some chatter among students that was passed back and forth, which made its way to school administration, which then got reported to us,” Downey said. 

She is charged with six felony counts of sexual activity with a student by a school employee. She has not entered a plea.

Rothwell was reportedly tutoring the student in question, who is not being identified because of his age. The alleged sex acts took place over a four-month span, according to police, from April 1 to July 31 of this year, while the teen was a student at the school. None of the alleged encounters occurred on campus, police said.

“The assistant principal in this case was helping the young man with some issues related to school,” said Downey.

Police would not say whether the teen still attended the school. 

Rothwell made her first court appearance Monday, where the judge declined a request to lower her $1 million bond. She is currently being held in Gaston County Jail.

At the court hearing Monday, her attorney, Trippe McKeny, told the judge that Rothwell suffered from depression and had been an exemplary employee with Gaston County Schools. 

“Though these allegations are very serious, and we understand that ... she has helped a lot of folks for a long time,” McKeny said while asking that the bond be lowered. 

The judge declined the request, saying she wanted to hear from Rothwell's accuser first before deciding whether to lower the bond. 

Her next court appearance is set for Friday afternoon. Rothwell has been suspended from her job pending the outcome of the investigation. 

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